12 Good Old Horror Movies

Wednesday, May 5, 2010 at 10:45 am

I did a post about classic films earlier in the week, so I figured I’d give scary movies a little love and crank out this list of 12 good old horror movies. The newest film in this offering is 26 years old, so younger readers should find plenty of previously undiscovered–yet still frightening–treasures. I would also suggest that you visit Amazon if you wish to purchase any of these horror flicks, as they carry a vast supply of DVD and Blu-ray movies, and they’ll deliver right to your door via UPS. Yes, we do get a commission if you shop with Amazon via our links, but every penny goes back into making Only Good Movies the best site it possibly can be.

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The Blob (1958) – Steve McQueen makes his movie debut in this 50’s sci-fi/horror flick about a giant amoeba from space that’s hell-bent on absorbing every livin thing in a small Pennsylvania town. The film didn’t get big until McQueen found success on TV’s Wanted: Dead or Alive, but then it became a sensation with the drive-in crowd. Oddly enough, the 1972 sequel was directed by Larry Hagman (better known as J.R. from Dallas).

The Hills Have Eyes (1977) – Before he made movies like Scream and A Nightmare on Elm Street, director Wes Craven helmed this classic horror flick about a vacationing family stranded in the desert and hunted by cannibalistic mutants. Genre favorite Dee Wallace makes an appearance, and Michael Berryman is visually striking as the menacing Pluto.

The Black Cat (1934) – Bela Lugosi and Bori Karloff teamed up for the first of six pairings, this time in a story about a young couple traveling by train through Hungary (always a bad idea in the movies). They meet Dr. Vitus Werdegast (Lugosi) on the train, a psychiatrist who’s going to visit his Austrian friend, Hjalmar Poelzig (Karloff), who’s spent the last 15 years in a notorious prison camp. But the train crashes, the young woman is injured, and the trio ends up journeying to the forboding home of Poelzig. Bad things happen after that. Poelzig, by the way, was based in part on infamous British occultist Aleister Crowley.

Dawn of the Dead (1978) – George Romero turned the horror world on its ear with this zombie film combining equal parts gore and social commentary. As the world around them quickly turns into an undead hell, four survivors take refuge in a shopping mall. However, any fan of scary movies knows that their idyllic refuge won’t stay secure for long.

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984) – Originally intended to be the final film in the series, the popularity of this entry guaranteed that Jason Voorhees would be with us for a long time to come. Corey Feldman stars as Tommy Jarvis, a young boy who goes on vacation with his family and eventually comes face to face with the hockey-masked killer. Crispin Glover makes an early film appearance before getting dispatched with a meat cleaver to the face. The best of the series.

The Fog (1980) – John Carpenter directed this tale of a malevolent fog that spreads over a California fishing town and leaves a pile of corpses in its wake. Adrienne Barbeau plays a DJ with a perfect view of the fog from her lighthouse headquarters, and Jamie Lee Curtis is a horny hitchhiker who gets caught up in events while passing through the area. Also starring Hal Holbrook, John Houseman and Janet Leigh.

Psycho (1960) – In the hands of director Alfred Hitchcock, the tale of lonely Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) would become a horror classic that still has viewers looking over their shoulder in the shower. After embezzling money from her employer, a secretary (Janet Leigh) on the run stops for the night at the Bates Motel, and her appearance causes a chain reaction of murder and madness. Sequels, prequels, a remake and a television show would follow, but none came close to matching Hitchcock’s brilliantly-shot tale of terror.

The Pit and the Pendulum (1961) – Roger Corman adapted the short story of Edgar Allan Poe and turned in into this tale of a young 16th century nobleman (John Kerr) who visits the home of his brother-in-law (Vincent Price) following the unexplained death of his sister (Barbara Steele). Filled with torture, madness and ghostly images, the film was a hit with critics and audience members, due in large part to a smart script from writer Richard Matheson.

The Omen (1976) – Antichrist movies were big business in the 1970s, and this tale of young Damien Thorn was no exception. Born to a U.S. ambassador (Gregory Peck) and his wife (Lee Remick), Damien has a habit of good people dying around him, and even men of the cloth are not immune. The final shot of the film will have you smiling with wicked delight.

Phantom of the Opera (1943) – After being horribly disfigured, an out-of-work violinist (Claude Rains) dons a mask and begins to obsess over a young soprano (Susanna Foster). Many of the top stars of the day were in the film (including Nelson Eddy and Edgar Barrier), and keep your eyes peeled for Hume Cronyn and fantasy writer Fritz Leiber (as a composer). Many of the sets from the 1925 version were re-used for this production.

The Invisible Man (1933) – Based on the novel by H.G. Wells, The Invisible Man stars Claude Rains in his first U.S. film. Horror legend James Whale (Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein) served as director, and the story of a brilliant scientist driven mad by an invisibility formula was a major hit for Universal Pictures. Numerous sequels would follow, and the character has resurfaced in one form or another for over 70 years.

The Wolf Man (1941) – One of the major monster movies for Universal, The Wolf Man stars Lon Chaney, Jr. as Larry Talbot, a young man who returns to his ancestral Welsh estate following the death of his brother. As you might have guessed, it’s not long before Larry runs into something in the woods…something with big teeth and lots of fur. Highly influential on werewolf lore, the film introduced the notion that the creatures are vulnerable to silver.

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For more good old horror movies, you might try the following posts from our OGM blog:

This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 5th, 2010 at 10:45 am and is filed under Good Movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “12 Good Old Horror Movies”

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October 14, 2010

Kevin Morton

On that list I have to say The Invisible Man is may favourite, close second The Pit and the Pendulum.


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